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5 things you (probably) didnít know about Henry VIII
History Extra ^ | January 25, 2018

Posted on 01/28/2018 9:43:51 AM PST by beaversmom

1

Henry VIII was slim and athletic for most of his life

At six feet two inches tall, Henry VIII stood head and shoulders above most of his court. He had an athletic physique and excelled at sports, regularly showing off his prowess in the jousting arena.

Having inherited the good looks of his grandfather, Edward IV, in 1515 Henry was described as “the handsomest potentate I have ever set eyes on…” and later an “Adonis”, “with an extremely fine calf to his leg, his complexion very fair…and a round face so very beautiful, that it would become a pretty woman”.

All this changed in 1536 when the king – then in his mid-forties – suffered a serious wound to his leg while jousting. This never properly healed, and instead turned ulcerous, which left Henry increasingly incapacitated.

Four years later, the king’s waist had grown from a trim 32 inches to an enormous 52 inches. By the time of his death, he had to be winched onto his horse. It is this image of the corpulent Henry VIII that has obscured the impressive figure that he cut for most of his life.

2

Henry VIII was a tidy eater

Despite the popular image of Henry VIII throwing a chicken leg over his shoulder as he devoured one of his many feasts, he was in fact a fastidious eater. Only on special occasions, such as a visit from a foreign dignitary, did he stage banquets.

Most of the time, Henry preferred to dine in his private apartments. He would take care to wash his hands before, during and after each meal, and would follow a strict order of ceremony.

Seated beneath a canopy and surrounded by senior court officers, he was served on bended knee and presented with several different dishes to choose from at each course.

3

Henry was a bit of a prude

England’s most-married monarch has a reputation as a ladies’ man – for obvious reasons. As well as his six wives, he kept several mistresses and fathered at least one child by them.

But the evidence suggests that, behind closed doors, he was no lothario. When he finally persuaded Anne Boleyn to become his mistress in body as well as in name, he was shocked by the sexual knowledge that she seemed to possess, and later confided that he believed she had been no virgin.

When she failed to give him a son, he plumped for the innocent and unsullied Jane Seymour instead.

4

Henry’s chief minister liked to party

Although often represented as a ruthless henchman, Thomas Cromwell was in fact one of the most fun-loving members of the court. His parties were legendary, and he would spend lavish sums on entertaining his guests – he once paid a tailor £4,000 to make an elaborate costume that he could wear in a masque to amuse the king.

Cromwell also kept a cage of canary birds at his house, as well as an animal described as a “strange beast”, which he gave to the king as a present.

5

Henry VIII sent more men and women to their deaths than any other monarch

During the later years of Henry’s reign, as he grew ever more paranoid and bad-tempered, the Tower of London was crowded with the terrified subjects who had been imprisoned at his orders.

One of the most brutal executions was that of the aged Margaret de la Pole, Countess of Salisbury. The 67-year-old countess was woken early on the morning of 27 May 1541 and told to prepare for death.

Although initially composed, when Margaret was told to place her head on the block, her self-control deserted her and she tried to escape. Her captors were forced to pinion her to the block, where the amateur executioner hacked at the poor woman’s head and neck, eventually severing them after the eleventh blow.


TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: ancientautopsies; anneboleyn; elizabethi; godsgravesglyphs; goodqueenbess; helixmakemineadouble; henryviii; industrialrevolution; middleages; reformation; renaissance
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1 posted on 01/28/2018 9:43:51 AM PST by beaversmom
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To: beaversmom

He looked very similar to his maternal grandfather, Edward 4, who was about 6 foot 3 or 5, depending on what you read. He also went to seed quickly, indulging in booze and women and overeating and died early, leaving his brother to clean up his mess.


2 posted on 01/28/2018 9:47:41 AM PST by miss marmelstein
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To: beaversmom

It’s gay Robert Baratheon!!


3 posted on 01/28/2018 9:51:27 AM PST by bagster (Even bad men love their mamas.)
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"...and #6 he dated Helen Thomas"

4 posted on 01/28/2018 9:53:55 AM PST by Doogle (( USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand....never store a threat you should have eliminated)))
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To: bagster

Robert Baratheon, of course, was a huge, athletic man, a deadly warrior. He killed Rhaegar, which was quite a feat. Upon becoming king, he got fat. Very much modeled on Henry VIII.


5 posted on 01/28/2018 9:53:55 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (The revolution will not be televised (at least, not by CNN).)
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To: beaversmom

Henry VIII was nearly fatally injured in jousting tournaments, twice. Once in 1524 when a lance struck in him the face, and probably gave him a serious concussion as he had migraines ever afterwards. In 1536 he was knocked from his horse, which was also in full armor, and the horse fell on him. He was unconscious for 2 hours and afterward suffered from an ulcerated leg the rest of his life

Also in the twenty years before his death, his waist size went from something like 32 inches to 54 inches


6 posted on 01/28/2018 9:55:30 AM PST by PGR88
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To: ClearCase_guy

Yes, Ill concur with that....He was a badass gone to seed. But he didn’t have Henry’s marriage sensibilities or history might be different.


7 posted on 01/28/2018 9:56:51 AM PST by bagster (Even bad men love their mamas.)
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To: beaversmom

Henry VIII was a nasty human being.

Thanks for the post, beaversmom.


8 posted on 01/28/2018 9:57:06 AM PST by laplata (Liberals/Progressives have diseased minIt seems to me that theds.)
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To: beaversmom

Henry was also knocked out at that same tournament, and was unconscious for several hours. There was a fear he would die. Anne Boleyn miscarried as a result. There’s been speculation by today’s medical doctors, that the change in his personality may have been caused by his head wound.


9 posted on 01/28/2018 9:57:58 AM PST by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
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To: miss marmelstein

Richard, Duke of Gloucester certainly cleaned up Edward IV’s mess by declaring his children bastards, naming himself King Richard III, and murdering his two nephews, Richard, Duke of York, and Edward V.


10 posted on 01/28/2018 10:01:09 AM PST by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
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To: laplata

Henry VIII was a nasty human being


One of the very few things the French have done correctly was to EXECUTE all royalty, root and stem.

Nobility is the equivalent of organized crime.


11 posted on 01/28/2018 10:03:49 AM PST by Huebolt (95% of all convicted felons voted democrat if they voted at all (prior to conviction))
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To: PGR88
The Prince Regent (for the syphilitic-brained George III), reportedly had a 50" waist.

His gout was so severe, he was on 250 drops of laudanum a day.

12 posted on 01/28/2018 10:05:20 AM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: Doogle

The cat goes in time out.


13 posted on 01/28/2018 10:06:15 AM PST by gov_bean_ counter (Free Republic has been reduced to primarily a gathering place for the inane, banal, and obtuse.)
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To: beaversmom
"...and a round face so very beautiful,..."

LOL!


14 posted on 01/28/2018 10:08:41 AM PST by familyop ("Welcome to Costco. I love you." --Costco greeter in the movie, "Idiocracy")
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To: miss marmelstein
There were also rumors that Edward IV was illegitimate. "Blackadder" star Tony Robinson did a documentary in 2004 on the claim. It was titled: "Britain's Real Monarch."

The alleged real King was a man who was living in Australia...Mike Hastings.

Here's a link to an article reporting his death, as well as info regarding the claims:

Real King of England dies in Australia – the true royal lineage which would have changed British history

15 posted on 01/28/2018 10:09:36 AM PST by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
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To: Huebolt

Nobility is the equivalent of organized crime.

><

It will never change.

Most of the French now have a love affair with their Secular Humanist masters. There is no difference, actually.


16 posted on 01/28/2018 10:12:37 AM PST by laplata (Liberals/Progressives have diseased minIt seems to me that theds.)
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To: beaversmom

The Series The Tudors...

Fantastic, watched it all on Netflix about a year ago. Very well done show and very interesting. Strongly recommend it.


17 posted on 01/28/2018 10:14:27 AM PST by Professional
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To: Huebolt

His daughter turned out to be almost as bad as him!


18 posted on 01/28/2018 10:15:34 AM PST by Professional
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To: laplata
It was reported that while his body was being transported for burial at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, that Henry's bloated and putrefying body caused his coffin to expand, and blood and pus to drip from it.

A macabre tale of the death and burial of Henry VIII

It's long, but worth the read.

19 posted on 01/28/2018 10:20:43 AM PST by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
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To: mass55th

Yes, there is that theory that he was the son of a commoner; an archer, I believe. I think because his mother at one point called him a son of a bitch!


20 posted on 01/28/2018 10:21:21 AM PST by miss marmelstein
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